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TATTLE TALES: Spilling the Beans on Jack

I, Lady Colleen Cadbury, being of reasonably sound mind and more than ample body, do declare this is my last will and testament. At the time of my demise, I bequeath my possessions to the Spittleworth Home for Village Idiots –– where my son, Jack, will most likely end up. That is, if he isn’t crushed or eaten by Big Betty, widow of the late Beanstalk Giant.

 With my affairs in order, I’d like to correct the fake news spreading about my son. There’s a story being woven like a fish net –– flimsy and full of holes. It’s about a brave boy who climbs a beanstalk, kills a giant and returns with a huge fortune.

I’m the only living parent of the Beanstalk Boy, and I’m going to cut through the crap as only a mother can.

Although he is my flesh and blood, I’ll say without hesitation, I’ve never known a more addle-brained, twit in my life. His head is as empty as Cholera Cathy’s dance card. I had to draw him a diagram just to fart.

He inherited his stupidity, for his father also was a daft fool. My husband was a right handsome fellow with chiseled features and the muscles of a Greek God. A beautiful piece of china, I didn’t know was cracked. All the village lasses drooled over him except for Dimwit Dora, she drooled all the time.

When his ice blue eyes gazed upon me, I was love struck. A fair maiden from a lowly family, I didn’t have much to offer. But before I knew it, he asked for my hand, and the rest of me was stuck on his tiny, dilapidated farm.

Jack Sr. thought he’d be a potato farmer by planting old tater skins from the pub’s garbage scraps. Right then, I should have realized the hoof print on the back of his head wasn’t a birthmark, and looks aren’t everything.

I needed to save our skins from the rotted ones planted outside our one window room. So, with my meager savings from doing laundry for the constable’s wife, I urged Jack Sr. to go buy a dairy cow so we could sell milk.

I might as well have blindfolded the fool, sewn his lips shut and sent him into London to find an albino in a snowstorm. What he returned with was Cornflower, a cow with one eye, half of her tail and an udder problem. We were the lucky owners of a cyclops with one teat.  She was a complete milk dud.

Eight months with child, I scolded Jack, and called him “the worst father-to-be in all of Spittleworth.” I knew soon I’d be dealing with two infant minds.

When Cornflower wasn’t crashing into trees or tripping over fences, she tried her best to give milk. Her one teat struggled to produce milk for us to take to market and provide us with something to keep us from starving. We tried boiled milk, fried milk, baked milk and cream of milk.

When the baby was born, I was thankful I had the right number of teats. I was a better milk supply than Cornflower. The spud I delivered looked like his simpleton father, except this version had a lazy eye that spun in circles. Half the time, I was dizzy trying to look at him.

Having an infant was more of a struggle. As Jack Jr. grew I told his father he needed to become more of a breadwinner, so the wanker asked me where he could buy a bread lottery ticket.

Knowing he’d never be cream of the crop, I demanded Jack Sr. travel many days to London and make a new life for us. I never saw him again. Weeks later, The Village Voice reported that while lost in the enchanted forest, he was mowed down by a swift carriage carrying a princess named Cinderella. She was on her way to some party. How appropriate the gourd-head should be killed by a giant pumpkin.

Jack Jr. grew and took to caring for Cornflower, but one day her teat just fell off. An udder disaster. We were without means to survive.

I sent young Jack to the market to sell Cornflower so we could take the coins and move far away to London. Many opportunities were there for peasant women. I could become a milkmaid, washerwoman, seamstress or hide in the alleys and pull down my knickers. My choices were endless and so were the possible diseases.

Jack came stumbling back home with his crazy twirling eye, I said my prayers. He told me he sold Cornflower to a magical man in the woods. The payment was five magic beans. He placed some old dried lima beans covered in gold leaf into my hand like he was delivering treasure.

I smacked Jack and threw the beans out the window. Madder than a wet hen with syphilis, I shook Jack so hard his eye stopped spinning. I ordered him to bed without the dinner we wouldn’t be eating anyway.

Desperate, I went into the village and traded a quick handy for a pint of ale with the farmer in the dell. In the farmer’s defense, it was before he took a wife.

A woman driven to the edge, does crazy things. I couldn’t go home and stare at mindless Jack slobbering on his pillow. I spent the night sleeping on a bale of straw with a gopher and Creeping Curtis, a wanderer with frisky fingers.

In the morning, I awoke to a bizarre sight –– after getting Curtis off me, there was even a more bizarre sight. In the distance from our farm, a huge beanstalk sprawled into the sky.

The beans Jack bought had grown overnight. The giant beanstalk twisted and turned its way back into our humble hovel, broke through the roof, and disappeared into the clouds. Not only did we lose Cornflower, but now we had property damage. 

I dashed home in a panic, the straw in my skirt scratching me like a cat in heat. I screamed for Jack. When he didn’t answer, I crept into the tiny home and there scribbled in my luxury wall-to-wall dirt floor was a message from him, “Climed up beanstix – Jack”. At least he could spell his name.

The beans hanging from the stalk were huge. I could sell beans to the villagers and start collecting a regular income. For once, the moron had done something right. The sound of coins clinked in my head.

With Jack lost somewhere in the clouds, I wheeled my first load of giant beans to the farmer’s market. Soon my coin purse filled up, and I didn’t have to drop my knickers once.

My best customer was Derby O’Toole– the village glutton. His poor family starved while Derby ate everything in sight. Unfortunately, Derby stuffed himself on the beans and exploded in the O’Toole’s outhouse.

They say he shot straight into the air and the only thing that fell back to earth were his shoes and part of a bean. I made a note to provide a “projectile fart disclaimer” with every future sale.

When I got home from my first day at market, Jack was waiting and holding a very large goose. He told me he climbed all the way to the top of the beanstalk and found a castle where a giant lived.

His story stunk like the moldy apples and rat stew they served at the village pub. He said he had stolen a goose that laid golden eggs. I was sure that Jack’s remaining brain cells died from the high altitude, or he had seen smoking some of the beanstalk leaves.

“We’ll be rich,” Jack told me. I smacked him in the head, the goose squawked and out plopped a large, solid golden egg. It broke three of my toes.

The goose would make a grand holiday feast, but the golden eggs were useless to us.
Spittleworth was a peasant village and no one could afford a golden egg. Our ramshackle settlement was so poor the baker sold day old bread.

It would make a lovely gift for the wealthy Constable Cadbury who lived in the manor outside the village. Cadbury loved eggs. It would raise our social status from downtrodden to simply trodden.

Jack insisted he take the goose back and find other treasure to bring us a fortune. I told him the beans would provide a living, and not to waste time searching for castles in the sky. “You’re so cliché mother,” he said and scaled back up the beanstalk. I was aghast. When did he learn to use cliché in a sentence?

Weeks went by and not a sign of Jack. I continued selling my gassy beans, and was able to build a new hovel with a stone floor. My social life was no longer a disease and Creeping Curtis invited me to come back for some romps in the hay.  

Christmas came and I rolled the golden egg up a hill in a snowstorm to Cadbury Manor. It was time to hob the knob with the Constable. Being a right hospitable gentleman, he invited me in to have a nog and maybe later a snog. He had heard about the “bean lady” and wanted to check out my assets.

He proudly placed the egg on his mantel and asked me to stay for Christmas dinner with his wife and nephew. My holiday sackcloth dress had no holes or fleas, so I felt quite the manor born. I stole a shiny bauble off the candlelit tree and shoved it in my hair.

Trying not to be rude, I didn’t ask if something being prepared for dinner was burning. A bit of smoke wafted around my head and some flames shot before my eyes. When my scalp started to blister, I realized the bauble was a candleholder.

Nonchalantly I poured a pitcher of water on my head. There was only a small patch of singed hair and blackened flesh – nothing a good leeching wouldn’t fix.

Constable Cadbury told me his only living relative was a nephew who lived with them. There was village gossip about an eccentric gentleman living in the manor, but I’d never seen him.

When he appeared at the dining table, I gasped. Creeping Curtis stood before me looking quite proper in his waistcoat and trousers. There was not a bit of straw or rodent in sight. Evidently, Curtis preferred sleeping in the fields to fine linen. A lucky thing for me.  

Curtis winked and asked, “Here for a holiday tumble?” The Constable, with a big smile, said he was so pleased Curtis knew how to make friends. Her Ladyship, looking like the stick in her ass was moving, stabbed a knife into the top of the mahogany dining table.

I shared about Jack’s disappearance over the meal. The Constable said he’d help by sending soldiers to search for him. The golden egg had worked. A little greasing of the palm, some tumbling in the pantry, and it was a Merry Christmas for everyone.

The next day, fifteen soldiers climbed the beanstalk in search for my fool son. After several hours passed, a thunderous noise came from the sky followed by a loud bellow that shook the ground around me.

The soldiers scrambled down the beanstalk dragging Jack with them. Not far behind, two enormous boots quickly slid down sending beans and leaves falling everywhere. The crazy scene was accompanied by a giant thud, crash and a grunt that rumbled my windows.
The sun was suddenly blocked from the sky.

The beanstalk had broken and the giant had landed on Cadbury Manor. He was dead as a beached whale and the Cadbury’s were mincemeat. A tragic end for the Constable and my sweet Curtis. Only her ladyship deserved to be smashed by a giant ass.

I drug Jack to look at the large lump of dead giant. Half the village was there trying to get a look. He was a mountain dressed in a rather spiffy shirt, pants and boots.

“You wanting magic and treasure and the easy way out. You could have been digging in the dirt and selling beans with your mother. Look what your silly greed has done,” I yelled at him.

“It’s not the giant’s fault. It was the soldiers that grabbed me,” he sniffled. “Hugh was just trying to protect me. I’m living up there with the Huges now.”

His wife Betty invited Jack to stay in their castle. Betty had a thing for small young men, and Hugh was leaving her for the 50 Foot Woman.

“She calls me Ken and dresses me up as a Prince, a Knight, Dungeon Dan, and she just made me a caveman costume.” Jack explained. I prayed to all the saints to banish the very images from my mind.

He told me he slept in a hat box on silk handkerchiefs, and sometimes when he was cold he snuck into Betty’s cleavage. My son wasn’t dumb or slow– he was twisted like a pretzel. He wanted to spend his days being a living doll for a bored giant housewife.

Oh well, at least I wouldn’t have to worry about taking care of him. I’d lose one boob, but Jack would gain two. I wished him happiness, and hoped he didn’t get crushed, sat on or lost in one of Betty’s crevices.

The villagers, like vultures, were busy scratching at the giant to pull out his boot laces, and rip pieces of fabric from his clothes. A gasp rose from the crowd and everyone watched in horror as a bulge grow in the giant’s pants. His pants zipper opened and out popped a very small willy, and it was waving and yelling my name.

“Dear Lord, the giant has a tiny one and it talks,” I said.

“It knows you,” Jack exclaimed.

It’s then I realized it wasn’t a willy at all– it was Curtis. He hadn’t been crushed to death, just trapped in the pants of a giant. I rushed to him and we hugged, cried, and then I invited him to come do some rolling in my own private straw. He said he wanted to make a decent woman of me, but I said I’d rather be his bride. They could call me Lady Cadbury, since he was the sole heir.

We’d have money to enlarge the farm. I could stop hauling those big beans to market, and afford a proper chamber pot. I was tired of rinsing out my tea cup all day long.

With beanstalk torn to pieces, Jack cried not knowing how to return to Betty. I had to get him back up to that castle. There were already plans to turn his sleeping space into a broom closet. I thought of shooting him out of a cannon, but even his head was not that tough.

Racking my brain every night for a solution, I sat up in bed one morning to discover I was blind. With my eyes wide open, pitch blackness surrounded me. I tumbled out of bed yelling for Curtis, while Jack and Curtis were outside yelling for me.

With my foot in our chamber pot and a hand in Curtis’ spittoon, I fell out of the door and saw a glimmer of light. Our modest hovel was completely covered in a giant piece of paper. Betty Huge had sent Jack a letter.

It took all three of use to drag it out into the field to read it. In very poor penmanship, for a big lady living in a castle, Betty advised Jack to wait where the beanstalk once grew and she would rescue her little love bug. It would be bad enough having to read a love letter to Jack in normal size, but in super-size, I threw up a little in my mouth.

Jack waited patiently by the stump, and early the next morning, a giant braid of hair fell from the sky. Evidently, Betty spared no expense on hair extensions. Her loud voice boomed down instructions. She told Jack to hang on and she pulled him back into the clouds.

I’d never seen anything like it. “Who’d ever believe such a thing?” I asked Curtis. The only other witness to it was a young milkmaid making her morning deliveries. I was sure Rapunzel would never repeat a word of it.

I’d like to say we lived happily ever after, but that’s a bunch of malarkey. I always think of my Jack and hope he isn’t trapped under a sofa cushion or inside anything in the general area of Betty Huge.

Someday he’ll be too old to be Ken and he’ll be just plain Jack. He’ll be discarded for some new boy toy. There will always be a place in the village for him. I’ve made provisions. 

Curtis decided to rebuild Cadbury Manor on the other side of town. I’m now a real lady with lace knickers and twenty chamber pots – Curtis has IBS.

Spittleworth is now a well-known destination on the map. Tourists flock here to see the world’s largest pair of boots, a ragged pair of pants and swim in a lake shaped like a giant.
So, this is the real story of Jack. He wasn’t a brave hero and he didn’t find a fortune. He found what made him happy, and for me, his stupidity was definitely worth a hill of beans.


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